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Trolling guide #1: Be pointless

Houseman

The Actual Hero
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I've noticed, especially at The Escapist, people used to get really upset with me whenever I didn't have an argument that they could attack. The conversation would go something like this:

Other Person: *Makes a claim*
Me: Do you have any evidence for that claim?
Other person: *Presents evidence*
Me: That evidence doesn't necessarily lead to that conclusion because of X,Y, and Z
Other person: *Defends evidence*
Me: No, that still doesn't follow because of problems P, and Q
Other person: "Well where's YOUR argument, huh?"
Me: I don't have one, I'm just pointing out the problems with your logic

There's an "offensive stance" and a "defensive stance". Sometimes, you might not want to take the defensive stance. You want to be fluid and adaptable, and sticking to a claim or an argument opens you up to attack, which means you'll be on the defensive. If you're "Just asking questions", you aren't explicitly making a point. The defense can't retaliate by pinning you down and turning the tables on you.

Often times, as shown in the example, the defense will get frustrated with being on the defensive all the time. They want a turn on the offensive. Or perhaps they know that they're losing the debate, and don't want to be utterly humiliated, so they want to change the subject as a way to direct attention away from themselves. When they do this, you can point out the disingenuous tactic they're using.

You can disprove someone else's argument by just asking questions. You can posit a contradiction in the form of a question, or you can reveal that there isn't enough evidence to support the conclusion. Your interlocutor, unless he is humble and open to being wrong, does not want this to happen and will resist it.

See also the Socratic method
 

Arnox

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At first I thought this was a silly post but now you've piqued my psychological interest.

I wouldn't actually say this is the best way to troll though. Or even a good way. Such methods can be defused rather easily.

Also, the key to any true trolling is to get laughs and attention, not necessarily to argue, although that's certainly a way to do it. Whether solely for you and/or somebody else doesn't really matter.
 
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Houseman

The Actual Hero
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527
I wouldn't actually say this is the best way to troll though. Or even a good way. Such methods can be defused rather easily.
Sorry, by #1, I meant to get across that this was only the first in a series of posts, not that it was the #1 way.

But yes, I agree.

Also, the key to any true trolling is to get laughs, not necessarily to argue
I suppose that there can be different objectives to trolling. I've always thought that trolling was done to annoy people, but that's just based on GameFAQ's definition of what trolling is. That's the first definition I was exposed to.
 

Arnox

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I suppose that there can be different objectives to trolling. I've always thought that trolling was done to annoy people, but that's just based on GameFAQ's definition of what trolling is. That's the first definition I was exposed to.
I think the trolling people actually look fondly back on is when it's hilarious in hindsight to all parties. A good example is the bloodninja chatlogs or even just rickrolling.
 

Battousai

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Trolling is easy, all you need is to get a person angry or flustered and it doesn't really take much. Now playing along with the trolls to avoid the trolling that's the real art. This is 10 years of Jedi Academy and related forums speaking here.
 

Monoochrom

Disciple
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Most people that say they are trolling really are the types that are simply earnestly propogating stupid ideas and trying to shield themselves from the backlash. Trolling is in and of itself irrelevant and something that is, by necessity and it's very nature, unknown to anyone but the actual troll. That's because to actually Troll someone, they can't become aware that is what you are doing. The moment your Target thinks you a Troll, you've lost. And that's why trolling is irrelevant, it only serves as entertainment for the Troll, the Internet having no shortage of retarded thoughts also means that it is the easiest shit ever. It's easy to get away with annoying normal people with Batshit Ideas and Logic you don't actually believe in when Facebook and Twitter have given way more people that actually believe that shit a Megaphone.

And the people on the Escapist...what can I say, lot's of wannabe smart people. They can't hold their arguments straight because they aren't their own arguments to begin with. That's why the Escapist has this weird idea that people there are participating in Debate...they aren't, Debate is Bloodsport for Nerds with formal Rules, what happens on a Forum is discussion. Problem is, the people behind the Escapist don't know how to handle the issue. At this point the Community couldn't be salvaged, only replaced. They allowed a certain Group of Posters to practically co-opt what is a gaming Forum with their politics. Now, a bit of Politics would be fine, but some of them eventually posted nigh exclusively when they could somehow make the subject about their political ideas. THAT is what fucked that place up. If they would have shown those Crazies the Door years ago, the Site would likely be just fine.
 

Arnox

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And the people on the Escapist...what can I say, lot's of wannabe smart people. They can't hold their arguments straight because they aren't their own arguments to begin with. That's why the Escapist has this weird idea that people there are participating in Debate...they aren't, Debate is Bloodsport for Nerds with formal Rules, what happens on a Forum is discussion. Problem is, the people behind the Escapist don't know how to handle the issue. At this point the Community couldn't be salvaged, only replaced. They allowed a certain Group of Posters to practically co-opt what is a gaming Forum with their politics. Now, a bit of Politics would be fine, but some of them eventually posted nigh exclusively when they could somehow make the subject about their political ideas. THAT is what fucked that place up. If they would have shown those Crazies the Door years ago, the Site would likely be just fine.
Alright, but what does this have to do with trolling?
 

Monoochrom

Disciple
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Alright, but what does this have to do with trolling?
I'm just talking about why it is that way on the escapist. The general vibe of a Community you feel like messing with is important to take into consideration, otherwise you are less likely to express yourself in just the right way to get the right people mad/defensive.
 
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